Front Page

August 15, 2002

PAWS wrestles

with fall bond

issue amount

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Local drought conditions emphasizing the need for increased water storage and delivery capability are prompting the Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District to place a general obligation bond question on the Nov. 5 general election ballot. Questions remain concerning what needs to be done to mitigate drought conditions and how much it will cost.

If approved, revenue from the bond sales will pay for increasing the district's ability to deliver drinking water, even during drought conditions.

"We were studying capital improvement projects and how to pay for them last fall," said Carrie Campbell, the district general manager. "We finally decided to hold separate sewer and water capital improvement bond elections. I'm glad we did. At the time, we didn't know we were going to face the drought problems we are facing."

Last December, the district contemplated capital expenditures of approximately $5 million for sewage system projects and approximately $5 million for water projects. Included in the water projects was encasement of Dutton Ditch in pipe, but not enlargement of Stevens Reservoir.

The question last fall was whether the sewage and water bonding proposals should be divided. The decision was made to divide the proposals. As a result, the sewage bonding proposal of about $5 million placed on the May 7 ballot was given overwhelming approval by voters.

The water bonding proposal was delayed. The delay worked to the advantage of district decision makers, according to Campbell.

"We thought we could wait a couple of years before enlarging Stevens," Campbell said. "Then we had to face drought conditions."

Since last December, the district's ability to deliver sufficient drinking water has been challenged by this year's drought. In an effort to increase water storage capability as much as possible, district directors are leaning toward including the cost of enlarging Stevens Reservoir on the Nov. 5 ballot. If Stevens Reservoir enlargement is included, the proposed water bond issue could be as much as $10.3 million.

"We're looking at almost tripling the holding capacity of Stevens," Campbell said. "We're also contemplating increasing the capacity of the treatment plant at Stevens from 0.5 million gallons per day to 2 million gallons per day. Stevens is a shallow reservoir. Because we will deepen it, the water quality will also be improved."

Stevens Reservoir currently holds 635 acre feet of water. The district contemplates enlarging the holding capacity to 1,400 acre feet. An acre foot of water is a volume of water one foot deep covering an area of one acre and containing 43,560 cubic feet or 325,851 gallons. Roughly two-thirds of an acre foot of water serves a typical family of four for a year.

If the board decides to add the Stevens enlargement to the Nov. 7 ballot question, work connected with engineering and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permits will be accelerated. The Stevens enlargement, including increasing treatment plant capacity, will cost an estimated $4.4 million.

The encasement of Dutton Ditch in pipe is seen as an additional important, primary step toward alleviating drought conditions. Encasing could double or triple the ditch's carrying capacity. Dutton Ditch is the source supplying Stevens Reservoir and Lake Hatcher with water. Until the South San Juan diversion was brought on line this spring, Dutton Ditch was the only source of water supplying the collection of subdivisions west of town. The South San Juan diversion pumps water to the San Juan Treatment Plant which provides water to a large number of consumers formerly served by the Hatcher and Stevens plants.

In the past, water carried through Dutton Ditch during the nonirrigation season, mostly during winter and early spring, filled Hatcher and Stevens. Water from Stevens spilled in succession into Lake Pagosa, Village Lake and Lake Forest. In addition to being the only water source for the two Pagosa Lakes water treatment plants, Dutton Ditch was the only water source for all of the lakes.

Because there was little snowpack this past winter, the historic refilling of the reservoirs did not happen. Little water flowed through Dutton Ditch. District crews worked diligently through the winter to coax about 600 acre feet of water through the ditch to Lake Hatcher, about one-third of the Lake's capacity. Even so, Lake Hatcher and Stevens Reservoir did not fill. Because Stevens did not fill, no water spilled into Lake Pagosa or the other lakes in the chain.

Dutton Ditch has weaknesses as a supply source. First, the Ditch serves a collection of agriculture interests, many of them in place since pioneer times. Some of those interests have claims on Dutton Ditch water senior to the district's claim. That means, when irrigation season begins, those irrigators have first claim on the water. Typically, as summer progresses, the water flow in Dutton Ditch decreases. A point is reached when all of the water is being used by the irrigators and none of it reaches the district. During typical years, irrigators claim all of the ditch water from June through October. That timing varies with snowpack and rainfall. In the past, water flowing down the ditch from November through May has been sufficient to fill the reservoirs.

This year was different because of the low snowpack. Irrigators started taking all of the water during April. The reservoirs did not fill. No one knows when water will be released this fall for district consumption. The problem is increased when no water runs through the ditch. In that event, everyone comes up dry.

A second problem with Dutton Ditch is, it is only a ditch, a trough dug through soil and rock. Dutton Ditch takes water from Fourmile Creek, then conveys that water several miles through its earthen bed before spilling into Lake Hatcher or Stevens Reservoir.

Many things happen to interrupt or diminish the flow. Beavers build dams or dig holes allowing all or part of the water to escape. Earthen banks, weakened by snow or heavy rains, give way. Again the water escapes. Silt piles up on the bottom of the ditch slowing the flow and diminishing the carrying capacity. At certain times during cold winters the water freezes, again stopping or diminishing the flow.

Encasing the ditch will eliminate most of the problems. Encasement ensures the ditch will be in shape to deliver as much water as is available to Lake Hatcher and Stevens Reservoir during the crucial winter months when the ranchers are not irrigating. Encasing could increase flow in the Dutton Ditch as much as two or three times above the current average of approximately 4 cubic feet per second. One cubic foot per second of water equals 1.984 acre feet of water per day.

The district proposes spending about $4 million to encase Dutton Ditch. Engineering and U.S. Forest Service permit work remains.

"I would like to see us start construction on the Dutton Ditch project next year," Campbell said. "I'm not sure we can do that because of the time it takes to wade through red tape, but that is what I'm hoping for."

Finally, the South San Juan diversion serves as a backup for accomplishing the Dutton Ditch and Stevens Reservoir projects. Stevens could be shut down as a water source for as long as two years while being enlarged. Water supplied from the South San Juan diversion source will replace Stevens Reservoir water while the work is underway.

In addition, water from the South San Juan diversion can be pumped into Lake Forest. Pumps are being installed to pump water from the same source to the Lake Hatcher distribution system. When a third set of pumps are installed on the South San Juan Diversion supply system, that system is capable of supplying three million gallons of water per day.

If all of the reservoirs are full, the district will have enough water to supply all of its customers for a year, according to calculations made by engineering consultants. That is the reason the district is striving to fill the reservoirs this fall, winter and next spring. If the reservoirs are filled, a year's supply of water will be available even if the drought continues and the San Juan River dries up.

The district has not arrived at final wording for the proposed November ballot question. A final decision has not been made on the amount of money to be sought or the specific projects to be financed. In any case, this year's drought experience is dramatically influencing district deliberations.




hold off


By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

A light voter turnout in Tuesday's primary elections was enough to almost guarantee Archuleta County Sheriff Tom Richards and Archuleta County Treasurer Traves Garrett another term in office. Both candidates ran on the Republican ticket.

The "almost" caveat exists because there is still time for a would-be officeholder to file as a write-in candidate on the Nov. 5 ballot. A person filing as a write-in could run as a Republican, Democrat, or unaffiliated, according to Noreen Griego, deputy county clerk. That person's name will not appear on the ballot, only a line labeled "write in." Prospective write-in candidates must turn in the proper paperwork to the county clerk in order to qualify for the ballot.

The count of Tuesday's results is unofficial. A complete and official canvas of the voting results was be conducted later in the week by the county clerk.

Richards bested challenger Larry Bass 817 to 545. Because there is no Democratic challenger in the sheriff's race, Richards will be the only candidate for sheriff named on the general election ballot. If Richards comes out on top in November, he will begin his fourth term as sheriff in January.

Garrett topped challenger Pamela Eaton 973 to 428 in the race for county treasurer. Since the Democratic Party has no one entered in the treasurer's race, Garrett will be the only named candidate for county treasurer on the November ballot. If she wins, Garrett will begin her third term as county treasurer.

Only 1,642 voters turned out Tuesday, about 20 percent of the 7,946 registered voters in the county. Of that number, 4,362 are Republicans, 1,639 Democrats and 1,975 unaffiliated. Early and absentee ballots accounted for 632 votes, about 38.5 percent of the total.

"I was disappointed with the turnout," said Griego. "I thought there would be more because of the two local races. I guess the turnout was about average for a nonpresidential election year. Everything went pretty smoothly here, even with the new, computerized machines. We were out of here by 9 o'clock."

None of the other races on the ballots - local, state or national - were contested. Consequently, the names of all candidates not opposed on the primary ballots will appear on the November general election ballot.

June Madrid, the incumbent county clerk, received the largest number of votes, 1,276. Other local Republican candidate results were: Carl Macht, coroner - 1,260; David L. Maley, surveyor - 1,173; Keren Prior, assessor - 1,121; and Gene Crabtree, commissioner from District 3 - 940 votes.

In county races, only Mamie Lynch's name appeared on the Democratic ballot. Lynch received 178 votes for county commissioner from District 3.

On the Republican ballot, Wayne Allard received 1,220 votes for U.S. Senate; Scott McInnis received 1,252 votes for U.S. Congress from District 3; Bill Owens received 1,260 votes for governor; Donetta Davidson received 1,114 votes for secretary of state; Mike Coffman received 1,109 votes for state treasurer; Marti Allbright received 1,091 votes for attorney general; Pamela Suckla received 1,072 votes for the state board of education from District 3; Kay Alexander received 1,103 votes as state senator from District 6; and Mark Larson received 1,226 votes for Colorado House from District 59.

On the Democratic ballot, Tom Strickland received 178 votes for U.S. Senate; Denis Berckefeldt received 135 votes for U.S. Congress, District 3; Rollie Heath received 139 votes for governor; Anthony Martinez received 153 votes for secretary of state; Terry L. Phillips received 143 votes for state treasurer; Ken Salazar received 160 votes for attorney general; Christine Pacheco-Koveleski received 150 votes for state board of education District 3; and James Isgar received 158 votes for state Senate District 6.


Town trustees send home rule question to voters

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Home rule is on the ballot.

At a special meeting Tuesday, the Pagosa Springs Board of Trustees approved an ordinance putting the future form of town government squarely in the hands of its voters.

Currently, Pagosa Springs is a statutory town, meaning the local government's authority to act stems directly from powers granted in state statutes written by Colorado legislators or from the state constitution. Home rule towns receive the authority to govern from a charter written by citizens of the community and approved by citizens of the community.

Pagosa Springs administrative intern Julie Jessen outlined those definitions as part of a presentation preceding the trustees' vote, using the terms of mayor to illustrate the difference between the two. Under Colorado Revised Statutes, the mayor and the town board of trustees are limited to two-year terms unless an ordinance allowing four-year terms is passed. That gives the town just two options.

Under home rule, term limits and length of terms can be determined by the charter. For instance, in home-ruled Rico, the charter dictates terms of office for trustees at three years with no term limits.

That's only one area of flexibility, Town Administrator Jay Harrington said. The charter commission can look at different forms of town government, at the number of town trustees and at precincts, ensuring that everyone within town boundaries receives equal representation.

That flexibility does not mean unlimited authority. Home-rule municipalities must continue to abide by the Taxpayers Bill of Rights, which requires a citizen election on any new tax. On any issues of statewide concern, like TABOR, the state statutes and constitution remain applicable, even in a home-rule municipality.

"What impresses me most about (home rule) charters is that they give the public a greater role, it's a more participatory form of government," said Ken Charles, of the Department of Local Affairs, who was also on hand to answer questions. He encouraged the trustees to take a look at some of the charters written for home-rule governments in other towns to better understand some of the creativity and flexibility that can be incorporated to meet the needs of the community.

Town trustees also asked questions about how often the charter commission would meet, how charters are usually amended, the opposition's position in other communities, if there was one, and how long home rule had been in use in Colorado.

Selecting a group of citizens to write the charter is a first step in the process of becoming a home-rule town and the task for voters in November is to determine if that's the direction they want to go. The ballot will contain two questions. First, voters will be asked to vote on whether or not to form a home-rule charter commission. Second, they will be asked to select the nine members of the commission.

Once the commission is approved and members selected, the commission has 120 days to write the charter. Then, voters must approve the charter. If the charter fails to win approval, Pagosa Springs remains a statutory community.

Eighty-four municipalities in the state of Colorado operate under a home-rule charter. One hundred and eighty six are statutory. No community that has passed a home-rule charter has ever returned to statutory status. Durango, Ridgway, Monte Vista, Alamosa, Rico and Telluride are all home-rule municipalities. Bay-field, Ignacio and Cortez are statutory communities.

Registered voters 18 years old or older who have resided within town boundaries for at least a year are eligible to run for a seat on the home-rule charter commission. Anyone wanting to run must file a petition with the town containing a minimum of 25 signatures of registered voters. Petitions are available now and may be picked up at Town Hall, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Petitions must be returned by Oct. 4. Registered voters living within town boundaries may sign more than one petition in support of a candidate, and can sign a maximum nine petitions, one for each seat available.

Anyone with questions should call Jessen at 264-4151, Ext. 226.


Schools frustrated with

state's test score errors

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Scores posted by Colorado Department of Education for Student Assessment Program tests given Pagosa Springs students apparently are flawed.

Superintendent Duane Noggle told the school board for Archuleta School District 50 Joint Tuesday that state-reported scores do not match those released by the school district last week. "Apparently," he said, "the electronic data files that were sent to the district by the test publisher do not correlate with the data published by the state."

He said there is a two to four percent difference in scores but, in general, district scores still are up in 10 of 13 categories tested. He said the problem appears to be in the numbers of students tested - one source reporting more than the other. "In each case, however," Noggle said, "our levels of performance were encouraging."

He told the board he had contacted Colorado Department of Education asking for an explanation of the discrepancy but had received no direct response.

"Hard copies of the CSAP results should be arriving later this week," he said, "and further comparisons will be made to determine accuracy of the scores being reported by both the state and district."

Noggle said, "We regret the error and are disappointed at the inability of the state department to provide school districts and the media with the same student data."

His commentary was not the only statement showing concern with the scoring.

Randall Davis, board president, said he can't understand scoring level terminology used by the state.

"When they say a student or group of students scored partly proficient, they are really saying those students were at class level. Proficient, in their lingo, means above average. I don't blame the parents and district voters for being confused by the test scorers' language," he said.

Bill Esterbrook, high school principal, said it irritates many teaching professionals to see students' grades compared to those who were in the same class level the previous year.

For example, he noted, the state said Pagosa freshman reading proficiency, based on this year's tests, was down from 61 to 60 percent.

"But," he said, "the more ideal comparison is how the class tested this year compared to their own score last year." He noted the 2001-2002 freshman class was rated 60 percent proficient, "but that was a 17 percent increase for these same students from their performance on tests in the eighth grade. That gives you a more representative view of how the students have improved than comparing their results to those at the same level a year earlier."

Noggle told the board the next step is scaling data down to the individual student, establishing areas of excelling, norms and needs and tailoring classroom work to those specific student needs.

"It may take a year or two," he said, "before we have mastered all the ways of using the test results. In the meantime they become another diagnostic tool. For example, initial indications are that we're not fully meeting the needs of our Hispanic students and that we may need more concentration on that aspect of curriculum.

"We've been able to disaggregate the scores for some specific groups on a trial basis," Noggle said. "But we need a lot more study of the results in order to make them applicable to the full student body on an individual basis.

"Still," he concluded, "even with the testing and scoring problems, it is exciting to move into a period where we have known databases for comparison and consideration."

"But," quipped director Clifford Lucero, "we need a state scoring system that is accurate. How do we tell students their score may or may not be adequate when those doing the testing aren't sure of the result?"



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Sports Page


Parks & Rec

Exhibition games spice Community Center debut

By Joe Lister Jr.

SUN Columnist

The town parks and recreation department helped inaugurate the new Pagosa Springs Community Center Aug. 10. Our part of the celebration was to provide some activities for the locals that showed some of the many uses of the new facility.

We hosted a game between the Bayfield eighth-grade girls and the Pagosa Springs Pistols at 11 a.m. The Pistols broke in the new gymnasium with a 43-26 victory.

The highlight of the game was that Pagosa won the opening tip, raced to the wrong basket and scored a goal. What a way to open up the new building.

Members of the Pagosa Pistols include Iris Frye, Jessica Lynch, Danielle Spencer, Jennifer Haynes, Lindsey Mackey and Kristen DuCharme, coached by Bob Lynch.

Next to play were the 7-8 year old boys who were all from Pagosa Springs. Coaches Larry Lister, Richard Walter, Cliff Lucero, Kahle Charles and Keith Walkup picked teams. No book was kept, so no score can be reported. Players included: Kain Lucero, Gabe Lister, Clint Walkup, Zerek Jones, Eli Stephens, Tyson Ross, Clay Ross, Reyes McGinnis, Drew Mackey and Blake Roman.

Walter, representing the class of 1953, and Lister, 1969, were guest coaches and did a wonderful job with the kids; I think we will try to recruit them both into volunteering when basketball starts this winter.

Miranda Gonzales, Tamara Gayhart, Tina Sanchez, Crissy Ferguson, Kylie Corcoran and Lexi Johnson rounded out the seventh-grade girl's team, coached by Andy Gonzales and Rene Davis. They had some good moments, showing hope for our future teams in Pagosa.

Last but not least, the game between the 11- and 12-year-old boys from Pagosa Springs. Players on the white team were Taylor Schaffer, Ryan Hamilton, Dakota Ross, Jess Martinez, Kain Lucero, Tyson Ross and Clay Ross. The green team included Joe DuCharme, Ryan Charles, Zach Lucero, Jacob Haynes, Santino Lister and Gabe Lister.

Coach Kahle Charles had his team ready for the game and came out on top of Jim Schaffer's team by the score of 42-22.

Thank you so much to all the coaches, players, scorekeepers and officials, and especially to Mike Lister for refereeing all four games.


The new community center is in need of some tip-and-roll bleachers; Saturday's events helped raise over $1,100 toward the new bleachers, with pledges received from CenturyTel, Car Quest, Buckskin Towing, the Cliff Lucero family, the Lister family, the Walkup family and Davis Engineering.

We are about $2,000 short so anyone wanting to make a pledge toward bleachers can contact Joe Lister Jr. at 264-4151, Ext. 231.

Youth soccer

It is time to register your kids for youth soccer. Ages for this program are 5-12 years.

A special note to soccer players who are age 13 and still in the eighth grade: If you are interested in playing in the recreation league this fall, you are welcome. Registration forms can be picked up at Town Hall. Registration deadline is Aug. 23. Important dates to remember are: coaches' meeting Aug. 20, practices beginning Aug. 26, games beginning Sept. 10, and tournament play starting the third week in October.

Teams from Dulce might join this program and games could be played Saturdays as well as Tuesdays and Thursdays. For more information, please contact Chris at 264-4151, Ext. 232.

Monte Vista tournament

Fifteen baseball players from Pagosa earned a championship in tournament play a few weeks ago. The team led by coaches Jim Henderson and Josh Lloyd, and team motivator Justin Caler, took first place in tournament play against teams from Monte Vista, Del Norte, Alamosa and Center.

The members of the Bambino All-Star Team were Chris Lloyd, Jason Smith, Julian Caler, Andy Abresch, Wes Walters, Stephen Schofield, Landon Bayger, Isaiah Warren, Cole Kraestch, Michael Henderson, Jarod Hansen, Wes Laverty, Thomas Martinez, Dan Cammack and Jason Young.

It was clear there was no individual all-star for this team. Every athlete stepped up and just when the team needed a big play one of the Bambino All-Stars was there to make it. It was the great plays throughout the tournament and just when the team needed them that earned this team the championship.

The Pagosa team did not get to the championship game easily. In the second round of tournament play, they faced the team from Monte Vista that beat them earlier, 15-3. This loss put Pagosa into the loser's bracket where the team had to win to stay alive. Two victories later the Pagosans found themselves in the championship game against Monte Vista team.

In the first game against Monte Vista, Pagosa blew out the competitors and run-ruled them, 15-3. According to Michael Henderson, who pitched, "It was a pretty boring game."

The second game proved to be a little more exciting. The Pagosa All-Stars found themselves down to Monte Vista in the fifth inning, 3-0. But it was Pagosa that rallied behind a Thomas Martinez double with runners on base that tied the game 3-3. Chris Lloyd and Isaiah Warren both walked to get on base. Michael Henderson found himself at bat with the bases loaded and one ball and two strikes against him. It was Henderson who got the best of the pitcher, hitting a dead-center long shot that hit the middle of the outfield fence, earning him an in-the-park grand slam.

Wes Walters finished the game on the mound despite a broken hand, getting one batter on strikes and two on fly balls. Pagosa won 8-3.

Congratulations to these young athletes for their championship in the Monte Vista Tournament. We look forward to next year.

Adult softball

Adult softball is finished with Bear Creek/Ken's Performance winning the men's competitive league, defeating U Can Afford Landscaping.

In the men's recreation league, it was the Hog's Breath team over At Your Disposal in the second championship game of the double elimination tournament. This was a high scoring and heated game but it was Hog's Breath that got the hits for a final score of 27-15.

Adult flag football

The team managers' meeting, to discuss playing times and rules, is scheduled Aug. 22 at 6 p.m. at Town Hall. This program will need at least four teams to get started.

Adult coed volleyball

Look for more information on coed volleyball in future parks and recreation articles. With the Community Center open, games will be played in the new gym.


Two dozen soccer hopefuls open two-a-days

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

They came by twos and threes until there were two dozen on scene. They barely had time to get reacquainted before being thrust into the first of a week of two-a-day practices designed to get them into game condition.

The hearty youngsters were the 2002 version of the Pagosa Springs Pirates soccer team, a group Lindsey Kurt-Mason expects to meld into a title contender, a team with a number of returning lettermen and a drive to excel.

It was 8 a.m. Monday. Some had been waiting an hour, anxious to show the coach they were prepared for the season. Some came at the last minute and at least two were still out of town but expected back by the afternoon session.

Each team hopeful must have nine complete practice sessions before he can play in league competition, the coach told candidates, so it is imperative to make every practice. And, he reminded them, even though they turned in the requisite physician's clearance forms, they also must have signed permission slips from parents before they can participate.

Laps, pushups, two-on-two passing, groups of three working with two balls, one mandated to be in the air at all times, were the early drills. Circles delineated areas they had to stay inside of; cones marked offensive route patterns; soccer balls were flying everywhere.

"You will get into shape." Kurt-Mason told the team. "You will wonder why you're sucking wind early on but you'll come to understand the reason for these drills."

And so went the first two hours for the 2002 soccer team.

They'll get a chance to find out how much they've progressed at the end of the second week.

Aug. 24, Pagosa will host five other schools in a full scrimmage opportunity. Visitors will include Alamosa and Center from the San Luis Valley, Aztec, Bayfield and Durango.

Kurt-Mason said the event will also serve as a training day for league officials, with all expected to attend and games underway on both the soccer practice field and the football field.

The Pirates will get the real season underway the following week with a long-awaited appearance on the Front Range, meeting St. Mary's of Colorado Springs there at 4 p.m. Aug. 30 and staying overnight to meet Manitou Springs at 10 a.m. the following day.

The balance of the schedule has Pagosa traveling to Piedra Vista in Farmington for a 4 p.m. game Sept. 5 then hosting consecutive home games Sept. 7 and 13 against Center and Ridgway at 1 and 5 p.m. respectively.

Sept. 14 they'll play a 1 p.m. contest in Crested Butte and then, Sept. 24, travel to Bayfield for a 5 p.m. clash.

Sept. 27 the Pirates are scheduled to host defending league champion Telluride Miners in a 5 p.m. contest.

Pagosa will play its first-ever home night game at 7 p.m. Oct. 4 against Crested Butte then travels to Ridgway for a 1 p.m. contest the following day.

The Pirates travel to Center for a 1 p.m. contest Oct. 12, host Bayfield at 4 p.m. Oct. 15, and close the league season with a 1 p.m. tilt Oct. 19 in Telluride.


Over hill, over dale, makes cross country team hale

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

Some started the fall sports season Monday on a field or on the courts. Twelve others took to the pavement, the fields and the forest on foot, practicing for the start of the cross country season Aug. 30.

Head Coach Scott Anderson said he was pleased with the turnout, especially with the numbers new to the girls' team. He expected a few more to join the team as the week continues.

"I'm excited about the upcoming season," Anderson said. "We have several new freshmen girls out. If we can develop their talent, they have the potential of doing well this year."

Senior Todd Mees is the lone returning state qualifier, coming off a 24th place finish in 18 minutes, 8 seconds at Kent Denver in 2001 while hampered by a late-season ankle injury. Healthy again, Mees could be an all-state contender, Anderson said.

For the first time in several years, the Pagosa Pirates will start off the season on the road, traveling to a race in Alamosa Aug. 30. The meet at the top of Wolf Creek Pass is set for Sept. 7, and the course will be very similar to the one run in 2001. Sept. 14, the team travels to Aztec, then it's on to Ridgway Sept. 20. The team comes closer to home Sept. 28, racing at Bayfield. Oct. 5, the Pirates run at Mancos, then the regular season schedule ends at the Oct. 12 league meet in Monte Vista.

Because of scheduling, Monte Vista will also be the site of the regional state qualifying meet, Oct. 19. However, the league and regional meets will be run over different courses. The state cross county meet is set for Oct. 26 at Kent Denver.


New coach leads Pirate gridders in title defense

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Pagosa Springs' varsity football team opened defense of their 2A Intermountain League title Monday with high hopes and a new coach.

Sean O'Donnell, a Pirate assistant coach during the past four seasons, is stepping into the big shoes filled by former head coach Myron Stretton. Stretton led Pagosa Springs to the IML title the past three seasons. Stretton's four-year head coaching record at Pagosa Springs was 26 wins and 16 losses, including a 15-3 league record. The Pirates have not lost an IML game since 1998.

O'Donnell graduated from Middle Park High School at Granby, where he lettered four years each in football, basketball and track. He earned Metropolitan League All-Conference honors in football.

After graduating from high school, O'Donnell attended the University of Wyoming for two years, then coached football and track at his high school alma mater for a year.

The following year, O'Donnell enrolled at the University of Northern Colorado at Greeley. He graduated from UNC in the fall of 1997 with a bachelor of arts degree in secondary education.

At Pagosa Springs, O'Donnell has been involved in a multi-faceted coaching career. For the past two seasons, he was defensive coordinator for the varsity football team. He has also been an assistant coach in varsity track for four years and an assistant coach in boys' varsity basketball for three years.

His wife of five years, Connie Sue, is head track coach, and assists with volleyball. The couple has a son, born July 11.

O'Donnell greeted about 50 football prospects Monday, the first practice day of the new season. Two-a-days will occupy the remainder of the week. The Pirates expect to field varsity, junior varsity and freshman teams.

O'Donnell has enlisted the help of a full slate of assistant coaches. He and those coaches expect to evaluate this year's talent pool through the week before deciding on offensive and defensive strategies.

Jim Shaffer, in his second year at Pagosa Springs, is defensive coordinator. In addition, he will coach the offensive line and defensive backs. Shaffer is the boy's varsity basketball head coach.

Back for his fourth season is Scott White, a Pagosa Springs High School graduate. White is coaching running backs and defensive ends.

Another Pagosa Springs High School graduate is Randy Sorenson, starting his second year with the football varsity. Sorenson is coaching wide receivers and defensive backs.

New on the varsity coaching staff is Mike Blum. Blum is moving up from junior high coaching duties to help coach the offensive and defensive lines.

Mike Marshall, who is coaching linebackers and running backs, is joining the Pagosa varsity staff for the first time. Also assisting with varsity coaching duties are Jeff Ballew, Al Abeyta and Rick Autry.

This week's practices are from 7:30-9:30 in the morning, 5:30-7:30 in the afternoon and evening. The Pirates scrimmage with Piedra Vista Aug. 23 in Farmington.

Preseason play begins Aug. 30 at Alamosa, followed by preseason games with Cortez, Delta and Montrose. IML play begins Sept. 27 at Monte Vista followed by a non-league game at Taos Oct. 4. League play resumes Oct. 11 at Ignacio, followed by a league game Oct. 19 with Centauri and a regular season closing league game with Bayfield Oct. 25.

Jane Stewart captures Women's Golf championship

By Sally Bish

Special to The SUN

The Pagosa Springs Women's Golf Association two-day club championship tournament held Aug. 6 -7 produced a new champion, Jane Stewart.

Stewart and Julie Pressley were tied with an 83 after the first round but on the second day Stewart shot an 80, edging Pressley by eight strokes. Julie's 88 was still good enough to make her reserve champion.

First net in the championship flight went to Nancy Chitwood with a 140. Jane Day was second at 142. In the first flight, low gross was won by Audrey Johnson who shot a 96 on Tuesday and cut two strokes to a 94 on Wednesday.

Katy Threet won first net with a 146, Sue Martin was second with 149 and Loretta Campuzano and Marilyn Pruter tied for third with 155.

Special events on Tuesday went to Audrey Johnson on Pinon 3, closest to the pin, Loretta Campuzano for longest drive in the first flight on Ponderosa 4 and Marilyn Smart for longest drive on Pinon 6 in the championship flight.

Second day special events winners were Barbara Boggess for straightest drive on Pinon 9, Lynne Allison closest to the pin on Ponderosa 2 and Julie Pressley for longest putt on Ponderosa 9.

An awards luncheon was held at the Hog's Breath following second day play.

Other recent events were Tee to Green on July 16 with Jan Kilgore first with a 47 in the first flight, Barbara Boggess second at 49 and Nicole Lepke third with 52.

Second flight winners were Jay Wilson with 62, Pat Deason at 65 and a three-way tie for third.

At the Christmas in July event July 23, Marilyn Pruter was first with a 52. There was a three-way tie for second between Marilyn Smart, Nancy McComber and Lynne Allison all at 57 and Nicole Lepke was third with a 58.


Huff takes Men's Golf League event

The Pagosa Springs Men's Golf League featured low gross and low net competitions in two flights, divided by handicaps, Aug. 4.

The first flight was won by Wayne Huff and Don Ford shooting 71 (gross) and 65 (net) respectively. Alan Leo took second gross with an 80 and Gene Johnson was third at 81. Rick Taylor was second net, at 70, followed by Dennis Yerton at 71.

"We chose the format to allow matches in the President's Cup, our annual club match championship, to be played during the league event," said Alan Schutz, course professional.

Rich Broom took the honors in the second flight gross competition with a score of 88. Bob Jones carded a 92 for second and Otis May shot 95 for third.

Ray MacCumber shot a 70 to take the second flight net honors, followed by Ed Hunter at 73 and Dean Gray at 77.

The Men's League is open to golfers of all levels. League dues are $25 for the season, payable in the pro shop. Competition begins every Wednesday at 1 p.m. Sign up in the men's locker room or by phone, 731-4755, before 5 p.m. the Tuesday before each play day.

Fourth annual United Way golf tourney set Sept. 7

By Bob Eggleston

Special to The SUN

Start getting your team together for the fourth annual United Way Golf tournament scheduled Sept. 7, in a 4-person scramble format.

No team can have more than one player with a 10 handicap or below. The Pagosa Springs Golf Club, 731-4755, will host and will help you put a team together. If you don't have a team or a handicap, the golf shop will place you on a team.

Everyone is welcome to participate in this major fund-raiser for Archuleta County United Way. The goal this year for the organization is $60,000.

United Way supports 13 health and human service agencies in Archuleta County.


 Inside The Sun

'Sponsored guest' load cut may aid rec center plans

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Voters rejected a proposed $1.8 million recreation center expansion last month and now the board of directors of Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association is weighing ways to lessen the use load, correct structural problems and improve cash flow.

Ideas voiced at the Aug. 8 board meeting included limiting sponsored guest use of the center to members' visiting families or friends and ending such use by residents living outside association boundaries; eliminating the guest program completely; increasing center user fees; and effecting better entry control to eliminate"nonpaying guests."

Director Fred Ebeling, newly returned to the board, said many property owners had asked him why so many of those who use the facility are not property owners but people who live elsewhere in the county.

He said swimmers, particularly, were cited as abusing the standard guest policy in the minds of many residents.

A center survey indicated in the first six months of the year approximately 2,800 of the 10,000 sign-ins at the center -20 percent - were sponsored guests.

Admitting seasonal use loads vary, directors conceded summer seems to be the peak of nonmember use and agreed it is time to evaluate the growing problems at the center and make some decisions on how to meet them.

With newly-elected director Bill Nobles named chairman of the Recreation Center Committee, board president Tom Cruse proposed having that committee assess the situation and come up with recommended revised operational procedures and repair and structural needs recommendations.

Director David Bohl, association treasurer, said there is about $200,000 available in the recreation center reserve fund for some of the work that needs to be done. He also said income for the center is down "but there is no deficit yet. If current trends continue, however, that could happen by October."

He said timeshare associations are increasing their voucher purchases and that may help, but a large decrease in income "may mean a need to increase user fees to meet needs. We need to look at what can be done to most effectively use the funds we have available to improve the situation," he said, citing the need for "repairs, upgrades and more efficient use patterns. Major work is needed. We have to determine which of the needs can best be met with the funds available."

Another suggestion, before the discussion concluded, was that it might be feasible to move some facilities to rental locations, thus opening more area to member use and financing it through a use fee increase.


No rain for a week and none in the forecast

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Following a week of promising monsoon rains, Pagosa Country weather has returned to the arid "no - no" syndrome that has prevailed through much of the current year. "No - no" means no rain this past week, and no rain on the horizon.

"Thursday (today) will be mostly sunny, Friday sunny with a breezy afternoon, Saturday and Sunday mostly sunny, and Monday and Tuesday partly cloudy, breezy, and warm," said Mike Chamberlain, a forecaster from the National Weather Service office in Grand Junction.

Daytime high temperatures will climb into the 90s with nightime lows in the 50s, according to Chamberlain.

Local weather is under the control of northwesterly winds that will switch to southwesterly winds Saturday, then back to northwesterly Sunday through Tuesday, Chamberlain said.

"This time of year, northwesterly winds in this area are dry," Chamberlain said. "The southwesterly winds expected early this coming week will not be of the monsoon variety. They will contain little or no moisture."

More monsoon rains are possible, according to Chamberlain, even though none are foreseen in the forecast. The monsoon season normally lasts through the first two weeks of September.

Precipitation has amounted to 1.63 inches so far this August as measured at the official U.S. Weather service gauging station located at Stevens Field. Normally the wettest month of the year here, August precipitation averages 2.52 inches.

High temperatures last week ranged between 78 and 91 degrees, with an average high of 83 degrees. The mean high temperature was 84.5 degrees. The average mean high temperature for Pagosa Springs over the past 54 years is 80.9 degrees.

Low temperatures last week ranged between 49 and 52 degrees with an average low temperature of 50 degrees. The mean low temperature was 50.5 degrees. The average mean low temperature over the past 55 years is 44.4 degrees.


School policy manual revision

eats up board directors' session

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

Final reading of the first three sections of a voluminous school district policy manual revision mandated in part by Colorado Association of School Boards, dominated the major portion of Tuesday's meeting of the board of education for Archuleta School District 50 Joint.

With director Carol Feazel ill and absent, the rest of the board carefully weeded its way through a number of recommended changes in the draft manual, eliminating many passages that duplicate rules already published in other volumes and adding sections not contained in the state recommendations.

Specifically, the board discussed a section on superintendent recruiting, some preferring to keep the same policy used in securing Duane Noggle, the current administration leader but others opting for the standardized state version. The latter was accepted.

On first reading of a fourth section for the new manual, the board discussed sexual harassment policy and included a phrase specifying, "If we are unable to resolve the issue, the parties have the right to go to formal grievance process."

Considerable discussion centered on dealing with situations in which a staff member could end up supervising a spouse. "Do we grandfather them in or make policy changes?" Noggle asked, adding, "This is a board decision."

In answer to a board question, Noggle said there are now two such situations where a spouse is under supervision of the other spouse, "but they do not evaluate them."

And, he noted, "there have been court cases in which the ruling was that you can't deny employment because of marital status."

The board noted the conflict is greater in smaller, rural districts where the desire is to hire the most qualified candidate, "whether family or not."

In the end, the board voted to continue its current policy.

On a related issue, the board agreed to add a section allowing paternity leave, noting a state ruling that school boards may not discriminate by sex with reference to time off for birth. The section will stipulate leave of 12 weeks or less can be at the approval of the superintendent but longer leave will require board action.

Sections on grievance procedures and extra duty pay, as recommended by the state, were inadequate, Noggle said, "and will be rewritten for your examination, hopefully by next month."

In another section, the board agreed that full-time employment will be considered a minimum of 30 hours a week for benefits determination.

A Reduction in Force policy has yet to be rewritten for the manual and it will deal specifically with support staff, at-will employees as opposed to term staff, and due process for all covered. While no such action is anticipated, directors agreed they should have in writing the procedure to follow if it should ever become necessary.

Finally, the board agreed to schedule a special meeting at 6 p.m. Monday to continue discussion on policy review, the proposed strategic plan for the district, and develop a board vision of where the district is, where it wants to go, and how it will get there.

Outside watering hours change; now 6-10 p.m.

By John M. Motter

Staff Writer

Water rationing remains in effect for Pagosa Area Water and Sanitation District customers, with some changes.

Hours for outside watering have been changed to 6-10 p.m. New watering hours will be enforced starting Sept. 1.

Otherwise, Level 2 rationing remains in force. Level 2 rationing allows outside watering only one day a week. In addition, the cost per 1,000 gallons goes up at an increasing rate for water consumed above the 8,000 gallons per month base rate.

Level 2 water rationing runs according to the following schedule: Sunday, house numbers 1-99; Tuesday, 100 — 199; Wednesday, 300 - 399; Thursday, 400 - 499; Friday, 500 - 599; Saturday, 600 and up.

Residential water rates under Level 2 rationing are: first 8,000 gallons - $13.50 plus a temporary $5.25 surcharge; 8,001 to 20,000 gallons - $14 per 1,000 gallons; 21,001 to 30,000 gallons - $22.50 per 1,000 gallons; 31,001 to 40,000 gallons - $27 per 1,000 gallons; 41,001 to 50,000 gallons - $31.50 per 1,000 gallons; above 51,000 gallons - $90 per 1,000 gallons.

Level 2 rationing is working, according to Gene Tautges, the district assistant manager. Treated water consumption is being reduced by from 500,000 to 600,000 gallons per day.

"We owe a big thank you to our water users," Tautges said. "They are going all out to help."

In the event the San Juan River should dry up, about 1,540 acre feet of water remains in reserve in the various storage lakes, Tautges said.

"The river continues to flow. It's holding its own," said Carrie S. Campbell, district general manager. "The rains caused some spikes."

"The San Juan flow as measured in town was about 16 cubic feet per second early this week," said Tautges. "We're still well able to pump from the South San Juan diversion."

The South San Juan diversion facility pumps 2 million gallons per day from the San Juan River to the San Juan treatment plant located at the district's Vista office complex.

An additional set of pumps that will boost delivery capacity from the South San Juan Diversion facility to the treatment plant to 3 mgd will be in place "give or take a week," Tautges said.

Other pumps are being installed to pump water from Lake Forest to the San Juan treatment plant and from the San Juan treatment plant to the Lake Hatcher treated water distribution system.

As of Aug. 12, the various lakes in the district had the following percentages of usable capacity: Hatcher - 37 percent, Stevens - 43 percent, Forest - 98 percent, Village - 33 percent, Pagosa - 52 percent.


New duck, goose bag limits established

The Colorado Wildlife Commission has chosen to enact the liberal duck season package for the 2002-2003 waterfowl season as approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The commission unanimously approved the package at a workshop meeting in Meeker on Thursday.

The bag limit for ducks in the Central Flyway will be six ducks, including no more than five mallards, of which no more than two can be female mallards; one pintail; two redheads; one mottled duck; five mergansers, of which no more than one may be a hooded merganser; and fifteen coots. There will be no canvasbacks allowed in the bag this year in any season. Pintails can only be harvested during the first two splits.

The season dates will be:

- First Split - Sept. 28-Oct. 30

- Second Split - Nov. 2-Nov. 29

- Third Split - Dec. 13, 2002-Jan. 26, 2003.

The bag limit for ducks in the Pacific Flyway will be seven ducks and mergansers, including no more than two female mallards, one pintail, two redheads, four scap and 25 coots. There are no canvasbacks allowed in the bag this year in any season. Pintails are restricted to 60-day harvest. This includes the entire first split, and through Dec. 12 in the second split.

The season dates will be:

- First Split - Sept. 28-Oct. 13

- Second Split - Oct. 30, 2002-Jan. 26, 2003.

Dark goose season for the Central Flyway will take place from Nov. 16, 2002, through Feb. 16, 2003. Light goose season for the Central Flyway will take place Nov. 2, 2002, through Feb. 16, 2003.

The bag limit for dark geese is five; light geese is 20. The possession limit for dark geese is 10, and there is no possession limit on light geese.

The first split for the dark goose season for the Pacific Flyway will take place Sept. 28 through Oct. 8. The second split will be Oct. 30, 2002, through Jan. 26, 2003.

The daily bag limit will be three geese in the aggregate, both dark and light geese. The possession limit will be six geese in the aggregate, both dark and light geese.

The youth waterfowl season for the Central Flyway will take place Sept. 21-22. The possession limit will be two legal daily bag limits, up from one legal bag limit in the 2001-2002 season. For the Pacific Flyway, the youth season will take place Oct. 26 -27, with a possession limit of two daily bag limits. This year, the bag and possession limits will include light and dark geese, since the season is later than the 2001-2002 season.

Citing voter lists, PLPOA member urges road pressure

By Richard Walter

Staff Writer

The issue of roads - their classification and maintenance - is one that will not go away for members of the board of directors for the Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association.

When Earle Beasley asked at the association's annual meeting last month for an explanation of road committee status and activity, he was referred to the new board being seated at that meeting.

A long time association member and ex-director, Beasley was before the newly organized board Aug. 8 saying he and many others feel the board should recreate the Standing Roads Committee.

"The road issue is as important as anything else you'll be engaged in," he said. "Improvements are wasted if the roads are not maintained."

He said members have been told the county is responsible for the roads, "but when they won't do the job, saying they don't have the money and can't get it, we need to get involved. You are our elected representatives and should be leading the fight for betterment of our roads."

Citing passages in the asso-ciation's preamble and articles of incorporation, Beasley said there is sufficient legal standing for the board to act to improve association property values and do whatever is necessary to accomplish stated goals including entering into and carrying out contracts for improvement.

He told the directors it is their duty to "try to influence the county commissioners to do their job. You can do it without violating the articles."

He told the board county voting precincts 6, 7 and 8 are loaded with association members and with 4,411 registered voters "represent 55 percent of all registered voters in the county. That should give us some consideration with the commissioners."

Tom Cruse, new board president, said the former Standing Road Committee was given a charge to research what the association role should be in actively classifying and maintaining roads. "They were stymied because the commissioners did not act," he said, "despite repeated promises they would do so."

In answer to a question from director Fred Ebeling, Beasley told the board it is his suggestion that the committee be reactivated to study road needs and report monthly to the full board, dealing with anything it is assigned to do.

Director Gerald Smith suggested it is hard to clear the focus on the issue. "Board members went to the commissioners and were assured the roads would be defined and classified. It wasn't done. The road committee went back to them with the same request and it still wasn't done. The commissioners came here, to this room, before this board, and promised it would be done. It was not.

"The issue here is responsibility. No matter how good the commissioners may be in other fields, they will not act on the roads issue. The only way to address it would seem to be to change the commission or the commissioners."

Joining the discussion from the audience, Mary Sealy told directors she owns three properties on one of the "nonmaintained" roads and doesn't think she should have to pay the same taxes as those who have "improved" roads.

Cruse told the crowd, "I believe we are well-informed of the concerns people have on roads." Ebeling added, "The commissioners approved their own road committee and two of our members were appointed to it. That committee has done nothing and has been asked to do nothing."

Jim Carson, a former association director and one of the appointees referred to by Ebeling, said, "They exhibited enthusiasm to get a committee representing the county as a whole. Then they said 'don't do anything until we get back to you.' I personally feel they have no intention of either categorizing or maintaining roads."


'Meet Me In St Louis'

opens Friday like a musical old-time greeting card

By John Graves

Special to The PREVIEW

Once upon a time everything was "ginger peachy," it was rude to say "darn," and nice girls wore essence of lilac.

"Meet Me In St. Louis," opening tomorrow night at the high school auditorium, is like a great big singing, dancing greeting card delivered in the middle of August. Like the old fashioned greeting cards, its scenes are related to seasons and holidays, from summer to fall to winter to spring, and from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas. And like the messages found in those greeting cards, its songs and dialogue present a world of heartfelt, well-meaning sentiment.

This Music Boosters' presentation, which features a cast of 29, with almost as many working behind the scenes, has been in the planning stages and rehearsals since the end of May.

Lisa Hartley will conduct an 18-piece orchestra, featuring talented local instrumentalists of wide-ranging ages (from six to 60-plus, including three retired band directors). Add to this some 25-30 volunteers, whose contributions range from selling advertising and generating publicity to taking tickets and serving refreshments during the intermission. This is one big production.

And talk about your "method acting." In the story, a split lip and the loss of a tooth plague the character of six-year-old Tootie. Sarah Smith, who plays the part of Tootie, actually developed her own split lip during rehearsals and even sacrificed a tooth in her efforts to "live the part."

"Meet Me In St. Louis," directed by Oteka Bernard, is a bring-the-whole-family kind of show. Critic Rex Reed said, "... it's so full of life and charm and energy and optimism you'll be happy to meet it anywhere."

Get your reserved seats at the Plaid Pony (731-5262) or Moonlight Books (264-5666).

Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. Aug. 16, 17, 22, 23 and 24. There will be a matinee performance Sunday, Aug. 18, at 2 p.m. Ticket prices are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors with a senior center card.


The Waifs at Four Corners Folk Fest

By Crista Munro

Special to The PREVIEW

Hailing from North Australia, The Waifs have traveled that wide brown land for the past nine years singing their tales of apples, true hearts, mothers and occasionally love.

Armed with acoustic guitars, honeyed harmonies and a blues harp, they are asserting a place for acoustic music in the face of an increasingly electronic industry. Sisters Donna and Vikki Simpson, together with guitarist Joshua Cunningham and resident drummer David MacDonald, perform with a truly infectious energy and their powerful songs never fail to capture the hearts and ears of an audience.

The Waifs have released three independent CDs and their strong touring ethos sees them on the road for nine months of the year. They are currently the toast (and jam) of the Australian festival circuit and have a large and fanatical following that regularly attends sell-out shows nationwide, making them one of the most successful independent bands in that country.

After traveling to the UK in August 2000 where they performed four sold-out shows in London, The Waifs set their sites on North America for 2001. Performances at the North American Folk Alliance and South by Southwest Conference in Austin, Texas, proved to be very successful for the band and attracted interest from many record companies, agencies and festival producers.

The Waifs have taken America by storm, performing at all the major folk festivals over the summer. They were the first Australian act to ever take the stage at the prestigious Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island, where they performed to rave reviews.

Redefining the folk tradition even as they celebrate it, The Waifs are proof that beyond the synthetic outfits that clog up the commercial music industry, the acoustic music scene continues to flourish with fresh faces whose music and talent alone continue to fill venues and sell CDs. The Waifs' performances are a feast for anyone wanting to experience some of what Australia has to offer.

The Waifs will take the stage Sunday, Sept. 1, at 1:15 p.m. at the Four Corners Folk Festival. The event begins Aug. 30 and features three days of live performances, workshops, kids programs, vending booths and the first-ever Four Corners Music Expo.

Tickets are available locally at Moonlight Books downtown and Wolf Tracks Books and Coffee in the Pagosa Country Center. For additional information, or to purchase tickets with a credit card, visit or call 731-5582.


Second Pagosa Springs

Corvette show Sept. 7-8

The second annual Pagosa Springs Classic sponsored by Colorado Springs Corvette Club has been scheduled Sept. 7-8.

The weekend's events culminate in a Corvette Car Show Sept. 8 at the field adjacent to Town Park to raise funds for The Compassionate Friends, a national nonprofit organization that supports individuals who have lost children.

The club was incorporated as a nonprofit organization with the state of Colorado in the early 1970s and contributes annually to charitable organizations.

For more information contact Larry Smith, event chairman, at (719) 622-2467 (days) or (719) 495-9782 (evenings), or at pikes


Military retired

Dear Editor:

Time has come for all citizens to be aware and concerned with the treatment of patriots who have made a career serving this country for at least 20 years and for no fault of theirs, became disabled.

Many probably do not realize how this group of disabled service veterans have been and are being discriminated against by our government. Some veterans, while serving, became partially or fully disabled and deserve aid or compensation. The Veterans Administration determines what aid or compensation these patriots deserve.

This compensation is unfairly deducted from their earned retirement. This means they really don't have much compensation for their disability. For others this is not true. If a disabled veteran was not a career soldier and therefore not retired, he or she would receive the expected and warranted compensation as they should.

However, should this individual be disabled during his service, be honorably discharged, receive compensation from the Veterans Administration and then go to work for the government, in other than a military status, long enough to earn retirement, there would be no deduction from his retirement.

Does this make sense? Is it fair to the military retired? Does it encourage a person to seek a career in military service? Congress has struggled with this inequity for years. Finally, this year congress overwhelmingly supports a change. The Senate version authorizes full elimination of this charge-off. The House version authorizes a sliding scale over years to eliminate it. The final authorization should be in the 2003 defense bill. The administration has threatened a veto should either version be included.


Don Bartlett

Money for bears

Dear Editor:

Since Dr. Herbert Parker obviously knows more than anyone else about what's best for the bears, I nominate him to head up a program to collect money for bear food and see that it gets to where it should go. I'm sure he will be a major contributor for such funds.

Just don't use my tax money.

The problem with do-gooders like Dr. Parker is that they always want to "do good" with state or federal tax funds collected from you and I. When the program fails or goes awry, they forget about it and go on to the next "do good" project.

David L. Dunn

The difference is?

Dear Editor:

Regarding Ray Finney's letter equating Ariel Sharon with Hitler and Stalin. Does he equate George Bush Sr. and Jr. with Hitler and Stalin for our actions in the (1) Gulf War, (2) Afghanistan, and (3) perhaps in future military actions against Saddam in Iraq? How about Roosevelt and Truman during WW II?

If there is a distinction Ray, I'd like to know about it.

Jack Koppelman

Sarasota, Fla.


Dear Editor:

The Aug. 1, 2002 edition of the Pagosa Springs SUN, under Letters to the Editor "Cloud Seeding" reads: " it increases cloud water to ground all the way to about 200 miles downstream from such activities by up to 5 percent."

It should have read: " about 200 miles downwind from such activities " as downstream can be a significantly smaller direct distance compared to downwind.


Albert H. Schnell

Egos out of hand

Dear Editor:

I attended the Aug. 12 meeting of the Southwest Archuleta County Fire Protection Committee in order to become informed about the possibilities of being included in the Pagosa Fire Protection District and what to expect if such an inclusion were to occur.

I went to this meeting in a neutral frame of mind because I planned on attending a meeting the next evening put on by the Mount Allison volunteers concerning an inclusion area with the Los Pinos Fire District in Ignacio, La Plata County.

I have always supported the Mount Allison volunteers financially and in spirit as well because they are our real source of immediate fire protection and they have performed well. Much to my dismay, however, the Mount Allison volunteers and other pro-Los Pinos inclusion folks felt that they needed to display a show of force and consequently rendered the meeting less effective with their antagonistic, repetitive and often inane remarks.

It is truly a shame when people's egos and self-interests interfere with cooperative efforts that could benefit all.

I sincerely apologize for telling the lady next to me that she should "return to Connecticut." And for storming out of the meeting.

David Lee Snyder

Area health care

Dear Editor:

It is with a deep sense of responsibility to the community that I write the following. I believe the heath care system of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County is at a crossroads. Decisions and actions must be made soon so the path we walk toward the future leads to a healthy health care system.

Local health care is a complicated issue of many levels. One level is known by readers of the SUN over the last couple of years. Disaster after disaster has been reported about finances within the system. Attempts are being made to rectify these problems.

There is another level of problem in the system that is the subject of this letter and it involves the philosophy behind the health care organization.

I mean to cast no aspersions or blame for the way things are. No one set out to make the system the way it is - it simply evolved. The history is this: 20 years ago the board of the Dr. Mary Fisher Clinic quit, leaving Dr. Wienpahl to operate alone. Some years later a different board formed, planning to build a new medical building. This board, the Upper San Juan Hospital District, won tax support but failed in its attempt to build. The USJHD then took its tax funding and began making needed improvements to the ambulance service. Some years later a new Dr. Mary Fisher Board formed and asked the USJHD to cooperate and they built the current facility together. Then the Dr. Mary Fisher board quit, again, leaving management of the medical center in the hands of the USJHD.

This evolution has resulted in a system that is fundamentally out of order. Where does the ambulance service receive the tax funds and then operate the community medical center as an under-funded sideline? Answer, Archuleta County. In all normal situations the medical center is the obvious and main focus and the ambulance service is a branch of that system.

The current system mandates that the medical center must break even. This is a totally unrealistic policy for an organization that must provide services that are not always profitable and often result in losses. There are a variety of services that a medical center should provide for its community that go undone here because they are not profitable.

In the news we learn about the national health care crisis. In Archuleta County we are quickly reaching beyond crisis status. The current policy must be reviewed and revised or the Medical Center will be forced into a substandard practice of medicine.

Community health care should be on the agenda of town and county government, community planners and the general population. We are a bright and shining community with growing neighborhoods of luxury homes and handsome new civic and government buildings while we have a community health center that is repressed, under-funded, and not able to perform its duties. The current system is simply not good enough for our citizens.

Norm Vance


A place for all

For nearly a decade, a significant trend in Pagosa Country has been for individuals and groups to work to unite a single com-munity, with many residents of town and county feeling a sense of solidarity, breathing the air of cooperation. There have been bumps in the road, but the process continues.

Saturday, yet another element in a unified community was put in place at the grand opening of the Pagosa Springs Community Center. The important words here are not "Pagosa Springs." They are "Community Center," for this is what the building is - a place where members of the larger community are needed and welcome.

The building is the result of a lengthy process.

Nearly ten years ago, an initiative to devote a small percentage of sales tax to fund operation of a community center was defeated at the polls, but all was not lost. There were members of the community, residents of Pagosa Springs and of unincorporated Archuleta County, who were not content to see the dream of a community center die. There were individuals who were not willing to sign on to attempts to create divisions in the larger community, to foster the illusion of difference between people based on where they lived.

They had models of cooperation available to them as they did their work.

For years, town parks and recreation programs served the youth of the entire county.

The senior center worked to create a larger community, drawing seniors from all parts of the county together at one place for meals and other activities.

Local churches recognized no arbitrary geographic boundaries and neither did a variety of groups like Rotary, the fair board, Pagosa Springs Enterprises, Music Boosters and others.

The Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Association opened a recreation center and sanctioned programs such as the Porpoises swim team that welcomed children from all parts of the county to an activity only that center and organization could provide.

For nearly 10 years, Archuleta County and Pagosa Springs governments shared an extra portion of sales tax revenues and engaged in numerous cooperative capital improvement projects.

A nonprofit committee of residents from all parts of the county was formed to press ahead with plans for the center.

That committee succeeded in designing, funding and completing construction of a community center. The facility on Hot Springs Boulevard includes the senior center, the county kitchen, spaces for the arts council. A conference room will accommodate 50 people. A multi-purpose room serves as a gym for various community athletic programs and events and can house more than 400 for banquets and meetings. A community kitchen is available for rent. A fully furnished computer room, open to all, will open in a week and a Teen Center will be open for local youth in September.

This place is available to any and all in Pagosa Country; it is not the exclusive domain of residents of the town. Look at the bricks outside the entrance, read the names of the donors. You'll find the names of individuals, families and organizations from everywhere in the county, of all persuasions and from all parts of the economic, political and cultural spectrum.

There are wrinkles to be ironed out at this new facility, but it is there for all of us. Our thanks go to everyone who made it a reality. They have provided more glue to hold this community together.

Karl Isberg


Dear Folks

It takes maturity to act your age

Dear Folks,

I missed Trevor Peterson's going away lunch at Dorothy's Restaurante Monday morning. However, I'd wished him well Sunday regarding his pending induction into the U.S. Army.

Monday's lunch was an impromptu 11 a.m. gathering in keeping with the "please go slow" mentality of most folks on Fourmile Road. Thus my verbal invitation was uttered at about 10:50 a.m. Being rather sweaty at that moment, showering and deodorizing seemed a more reasonable choice considering there would be other customers at Dorothy's.

Trevor probably didn't notice my absence. Nor notice the green chili burning his lips while aimlessly downing his meal. His mind probably was focused on Fort Benning, Ga., and the unknowns of basic training.

As I hastily showered, my mind drifted back to an earlier lunch Trevor and I had shared in 1985. The gorging that Saturday afternoon had occurred at the Pizza Hut in Frisco following the state skiing championships. His parents were assistant coaches. Trevor was acting his age (about 10 months) which is all folks should expect.

Trevor and I were born on April 7 - at a 50-year interval. So I've maintained an interest in his endeavors through the ensuing years.

His decision to enlist in the army came shortly after his graduation from P.S.H.S.

I wish I had possessed his foresight at that age. It wasn't until two years after graduating from high school before I realized volunteering for the draft made more sense than rerurning to college.

So Sunday evening, I told Trevor that he would do fine with handling the demands of basic training. It wasn't insincere "rah, rahism." During the past 18 years he's demonstrated that he can handle unexpected and unwanted challenges.

An 18-year-old who already knows how to follow instructions, assume responsibilities, expand his limitations and test his resiliency will be in his element during basic training. The mundane of the military - polishing his belt buckle, spit-shining boots and shoes, folding 45-degree corners on his sheets and blanket, "K.P." and so forth - could offer his toughest struggles.

Eventually, Trevor will discover the reality that all the supposed foolishness makes sense. He'll understand the major purpose of basic training is to provide a recruit the capability to respond in a life-preserving manner when he and his comrades become unwantingly and unexpectedly embroiled in life-threatening situations.

Trevor also will find mess hall food to be an interesting contrast to Dorothy's fare or the home-cooked meals he's accustomed to eating. In time, he'll notice some recruits actually go back for seconds whenever the mess sergeant announces such opportunities. In time, Trevor will realize that some recruits are eating the best and most food they've ever had.

It will be much the same with the bunk that serves as his bed. Some extended marches while carrying a full pack and rifle, and long days of "P.T." accompanied by a few ventures through the obstacle course will soften Trevor's mattress. The calliope of snores will go unnoticed.

By the same token he'll realize that some of his new acquaintances are strangers to having a mattress to themselves. Or to sleeping between clean sheets. Or even to sleeping in a bed rather than sleeping on the floor in hopes of being out of the line of fire of random gunshots. To them, the snoring is a welcome relief to lying awake to the sound of sirens or of rats running across the floor or up the walls.

Yes, Trevor will handle basic training fine by just acting his age.

Know you are loved and please keep us in your prayers.



By Shari Pierce

90 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 16, 1912

This careless, reckless scorching through the narrow streets of the town by some of our embryo automobilists is going to result in some one getting seriously hurt yet.

Pastor DeMotte met with what might easily have been a fatal accident last Tuesday morning. While driving out to Mr. Betzer's ranch to spend the day he met a team on a grade this side of the grist ill, and as there was not room to pass he drove off the grade, lost his balance, was thrown over the dash between the horses, finally caught under the buggy, and dragged quite a ways before he could disengage himself. Fortunately he escaped with nothing worse than severe bruises, but these have kept him pretty quiet this week.

75 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 19, 1927

Those who attended "The Follies Revue" presented by the Woman's Civic Club are still commenting on the immense success of the venture - both from the financial standpoint of the club and the high-class entertainment presented by Pagosa's best looking and most graceful "girls." The majority of the audience were pleasantly shocked to learn that some of our most staid businessmen can not only sing and dance, but also wear feminine attire to the superlative degree.

The Forest Service cable bridge across the Piedra at the mouth of Sheep Creek will be completed by the middle of next week and work has commenced on the wooden bridge across the Piedra at the mouth of First Fork. Both were washed away by the June flood.

50 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 15, 1952

The Pagosa Rod and Gun Club has just finished a very active week, concluding it with a very successful fish fry on Sunday at which time more than a hundred people enjoyed all the fish and trimmings they could eat. One of the most successful affairs of the week was the planting of 80,000 large Rainbow fry. The fish were secured through the cooperation of Earl Mullins, State Game and Fish Commissioner for this district. Also planted last week in the Middle Turkey Creek and Snow Ball areas, were 400 lbs. (4,400 fish) 5 to 9 inch Rainbow trout and 400 lbs. Rainbows in the Hatcher Lakes.

The local elections this year should prove interesting, what with the bigwigs in both parties knifing some of their own candidates.

25 years ago

Taken from SUN files of August 11, 1977

County Assessor Genevieve Olsen reports that her office is making some headway on reprocessing assessed valuations for approximately 4,000 pieces of property. The work should be completed by late this month. The assessed valuation process of land in Colorado was thrown into a mess by the state legislature earlier this year. The county completed the reevaluation process last year, then was ordered to roll the valuations back. This year, after the work was done, new state laws required that it be redone using different formulas.

Sheriff John Evans said this week that a back pack found stuffed in a crevice under some rocks near Granite Lake has been identified as that belonging to a missing backpacker, Sam Hudson.


 Community News

Pagosa Lakes News

High-Tri Triathlon weekend starts at 8 a.m. Saturday

By Ming Steen

SUN Columnist

Pagosa Lakes Recreation Center will be a very happening place Saturday morning.

The annual High-Tri Triathlon will start from the center at 8 a.m. Made up of three stages, the race begins with a 7.2-mile run, followed by a 14.4-mile mountain bike ride and finishes in the indoor pool with a half-mile swim.

Late registrations are still being accepted - right up to 7:30 a.m. Saturday. Teams are still being formed Pagosa-style, right up to the last minute.

If you would like to run, bike or swim, call me at the recreation center at 731-2051.

Laurie Heraty has stopped attending the triathlon as a spectator since 1998 when we pulled her out of the ranks and had her running. Fear not; we won't do that to you or to anyone else again. Volunteers, spectators, cheerleaders and all casual observers are welcome.

People ask me why we finish our local triathlon with a swim instead of starting off with the swim. When you consider the origin of the swim, bike, run concept, it all seems quite random. Of the first Ironman on Oahu, the founder of Ironman racing, John Collins, said, "We started with the swim first in 1978 because we had few good swimmers and did not want to lose track of anyone. The bike was second because we knew we would be going into the night and did not want anyone on the public roads in the dark on a bike."

There is nothing sacred about the order of events and while it is still a young sport, we can make necessary changes. It is a lot less complicated to fit 50 to 70 athletes into a four-lane, 25-yard indoor pool after natural selection staggers the competitors over the course of the run and bike legs of the event.

While road runners, cyclists and swimmers have grown technical and obsessed with gear, splits and training logs, the breed of athletes that get involved in the High-Tri Triathlon are looking for a good time and some adventures in a competitive setting. People go in with the attitude that "this is going to be a fun time," and afterward they have fun telling stories about their crashes out on the course.

This local triathlon is definitely a sport where you can race in baggy shorts, ride your bike with toe straps, and have fun without being intimidated like you might at a typical road triathlon. See you Saturday.

The recreation center pool will be closed to lap swim and open swim until 11 a.m. Saturday. The rest of the facility, however, will remain open from 9 a.m.-9 p.m.

The PLPOA administrative office will be closedAug. 22-23 for inventory.

Ride the Weminuche this Saturday at the historic Poma Ranch and help our local United Way meet their fund-raising goal. The ride will be four hours long in the beautiful country that is the Poma Ranch. Following the ride, lunch (a chuck wagon feast of brisket, chicken, ribs and beans) will be served. There will also be an auction for many interesting items. Please call Kathi DeClark at 946-2057 for more information.

Belated birthday greetings for Jerry Sager who turned 80 years old the first week in August. To be 80 and able to hike, ski and swim that is the epitome of a good life.

Look elsewhere in The SUN for results of Jerry and Joan's races at this summer's senior games in Greeley. They brought home enough gold and silver to make Ali Baba and his bandits jealous.


Senior News

A full-house show of pride for our new facility

By Janet Copeland

SUN Columnist

It was wonderful having such a good turnout for our first meal at the new Pagosa Springs Community Center last week. Even though we were somewhat crowded (the final figure was 81) and had to move in additional seating, we are very proud to have such a nice new facility.

A big thank you to Ross Aragon, Sylvia Murray, Mercy Korsgren and all the others who made this facility possible.

Welcome to all of the newcomers and the returning members who joined us this week. They include Judy Armistad, Doug Large, Cliff, Brad and Wes Killion, Michelle Johnson, Bonnie Etter, John Montoya, Garrett Laner, Mercy Korsgren, Lucy Gonzales, Pam Thompson, Marsha Marquez, Ruth Engwall, Kathy Cole, Carol Tendell, Helena Gunther, Mary Hurchalla, Carl and Marianne Barber, Kathryn Ide, Glenda Cloward, Irene Higlesias, Gwen and Lanie Lobato, Charles and Vickie Knoop, Edith Dame, Char Hemauer and Deanna Meyer.

Thanks to Deb Aspen-Hill who talked to us about how to take care of our feet and about reflexology. This is a very interesting and helpful subject and we appreciate her taking time to keep us informed.

We have some folks wanting to start beginners' bridge. If you are interested, please contact Laura or Musetta to help get this planned.

Musetta still has some Water Piks available for $22. There are just a few left, so contact her soon if you want one.

Don Hurt needs someone to teach the 55 Alive class. Please contact him at 264-2337 if you are willing to help out.

We just want to remind folks that the senior center has a paper shredder available, which is a big help in preventing identity fraud. Please take advantage of this means of protecting yourself.

Some of our folks plan to go fishing Aug. 22 at Echo Lake. Those who plan to go will need a fishing license. Please sign up in advance for car-pooling.

The trip to Creede last month was so successful that we are planning another Aug. 24. We will attend two one-act plays about love, marriage and midlife dilemmas. Sounds like fun. Please sign up at the center if you wish to go along.

A secret pal is donating $25 a month toward special event transportation costs to help defray expenses of seniors who find themselves short on cash. Ask Musetta about the Triple S program if you would like some help.

Some free computer classes are being offered in August by the Computer Tutor. For more information, contact Laura or Musetta at the center.

Other upcoming events include our next picnic in the park at noon Friday. This is the last one of the summer, so we hope to have a good turnout.

Dru Sewell is teaching chair aerobics each Friday at 10:30 a.m. This is a very good workout for folks used to a more sedentary life, and it's fun, too, so we hope lots of folks will participate.

The next Sky Ute Casino trip will be Aug. 20. Transportation is free and they hand out some freebies on the bus. The bus leaves the senior center at 1 p.m. and leaves the casino to return at 5 p.m. There must be at least six signed up in advance for the trip to go, so please get on the list.

The pool at Best Western is available at no charge for members of the senior center Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 9-11 a.m. Be sure to check in at the desk and show your membership card. They also offer us discounts on meals.

Yoga by Richard Harris is at 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays.

Wednesdays, there is a computer class with Sam Matthews at 10:30 a.m. and Chi Gong exercise (bring large towel or mat and a tie, if possible, and wear loose clothes) at the same time. Card games are at 1 p.m.

Every Friday Jim Hanson will help with Medicare counseling at 12:30 p.m.

Veterans Corner

Funding crisis hobbles health program

By Andy Fautheree

SUN Columnist

One of my biggest concerns in VA matters, and the one I spend the most time working on, is VA health care for our Archuleta County veterans. These fears received national attention this past week when news was released the VA would stop recruiting veterans in the department's overwhelmed health care system.

According to the releases, the VA will stop advertising for new patients. A memo from the VA undersecretary was sent out to all VA health care and medical facilities in 23 health networks to "stop advertising for new patients."

Veteran's Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi said the department remains open to any veteran who wants to enroll in its health care programs and will continue to offer health screenings at such sites as veteran halls.

"But," Principi said, "it would be misleading to actively recruit new patients into a health care system that - largely because of a congressionally mandated change - already has thousands who are waiting months for clinic appointments. We're having a very difficult time nationally caring for the veterans who have enrolled, he said. I will not be a party to giving veterans expectations we cannot meet."

Funding crisis

According to the VA there is a funding crisis of monumental proportions. The budget crunch stems in part from a law passed by Congress in 1996 that opened medical facilities to nearly all veterans - not just the very poor and those with service-related disabilities. Since then, the number of veterans enrolled in agency health care has doubled, to 6 million. About two-thirds of those enrollees are active users of the system.

We veterans in Archuleta County are very fortunate, much more so than in other areas of Colorado and New Mexico. Getting into the VAHC system for that all-important first physical exam in the Colorado front range regions, for example, is next to impossible. They have an extremely long waiting list, which essentially would keep a veteran with no service-connected disabilities waiting forever. As I've often mentioned Albuquerque VA Medical Center has a 6-8 month waiting list. Nearby VAHC facilities in Farmington, Alamosa and Grand Junction are frozen to new applicants.

Durango clinic opening

Part of our fortunate position is our connection to VAHC at Chama and the new Durango VA outpatient clinics. The Durango clinic is now scheduled for a grand opening Oct. 17. It will be located at 3575 N. Main Ave. and is a VA contract clinic with an existing medical facility. The Chama clinic is also an existing community medical facility with a contract to provide VA medical services.

Current waiting time to process new applications for the "Chama Connection" is about two months. It is unknown at this time how long it will take for the Durango clinic to start seeing enrolled veterans, but I suspect it could take several months.

There could be 1,000 veterans waiting to use the Durango outpatient services, and I'm sure all 1,000 of those veterans are not going to walk through the door in Durango and be seen for primary health care at the same time. In talking to VAHC personnel history has shown it can take six months to a year to get a new facility up and running at full speed.

According to VA records at Albuquerque and Grand Junction VA medical center, Archuleta County has over 500 local veterans enrolled in VAHC. I would venture to say 25-33 percent have been enrolled in the past year or so. So, if our small county has that many veterans enrolled in VAHC, one can only imagine how many from LaPlata County, Mesa County and other nearby areas are waiting for the opening of the Durango clinic.

Officials at Albuquerque, who oversee the outlying VA clinics, have not officially told me how they plan to start bringing our Archuleta County veterans into the Durango clinic. They did indicate some time back they would send out notices to all veterans already enrolled in the Albuquerque system and ask them if they want to transfer their health care services to Durango.

I plan to continue to enroll as many veterans from our area as possible. I don't work for the VA medical services, and I plan to continue aggressive efforts to inform, educate and enroll our Archuleta County veterans through my various outreach programs. It has been my worry that measures such as curtailing new enrollments would happen with the VA. These fears are certainly beginning to surface if this recent news is any indication.

For information on these and other veterans' benefits call or stop by the Veterans Service Office located on the lower floor of the Archuleta County Courthouse. Internet Web site for Archuleta County Veterans Service Office can be found at The office number is 264-2304, the fax number is 264-5949 and e-mail is The office is open from 8 to 4, Monday through Thursday; Friday by appointment. Bring your DD Form 214 (Discharge) for registration with the county, application for VA programs, and for filing in the VSO office.


Arts Line

Roberto Garcia bronzes debut tonight


By Nina Durfee

Enjoy the work of artists in various media at the gallery in Town Park, 314 Hermosa Street.

This evening from 5 to 7 p.m. you can view the outstanding bronze sculptures and watercolors of Roberto Garcia. The grand opening event is your chance to meet Roberto in person. Refreshments will be served. Garcia's work will remain on display until Sept. 4.

If you have artwork you'd like to exhibit at the gallery, the exhibit season runs May through October. Each exhibit runs for three weeks. Traditional receptions are held on the opening day (usually a Thursday) from 5 to 7 p.m. Complimentary refreshments are supplied by the artists. Call Joanne at the gallery for more information, 264-5020.

Sculpture demonstration

In case you've missed the chance to see him at the opening of his display, Roberto Garcia will give a lecture and demonstration on the process of creating a sculpture, Aug. 17 from 1-3 p.m. at the gallery. The demonstration is free, so bring a friend and learn together.

Annual auction

The Pagosa Springs Arts Council is accepting calls regarding your donations of art objects (new, original or perfect condition), plus goods and services gift certificates for the annual silent and live auction. The auction will take place Aug. 28 from 5-7 p.m. during the Chamber of Commerce/PSAC SunDowner at the gallery. Fabulous refreshments and your choice of wine, beer or soda will be included. As always, admission to the Chamber of Commerce SunDowner event is $5. Call 264-5020 for details.

Whistle Pig

The next episode of the infamous concert series will be held tonight at the Hudson House, 446 Loma St., downtown Pagosa Springs. The featured entertainer will be Chuck Pyle, the "Zen Cowboy" from Boulder, who will present cowboy poetry, contemporary themes and humor and finger-style folk guitar. Call 264-2491 for reservations.

Children's arts and crafts

This year's Four Corners Folk Festival, Aug. 30-Sept.1 at the top of Reservoir Hill will feature a children's arts and crafts station, open 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Donations of supplies will be accepted at the gallery Aug. 20-29. Desired items include individual empty water bottles with lids, empty toilet tissue and paper towel rolls. Drop off your donations during Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m-5: 30 p.m.

PSAC needs writer

The Artsline column is a production of volunteer writers, each contributing a bit of time once a month or so.

Detailed information for the column is supplied; the writer simply formats and submits it for publication to The SUN.

Here's a chance to add your own flair to the column while providing a needed service. Call Joanne at 264-5020 to volunteer your time and talent.

Instructors needed

The new Pagosa Springs Community Center will host art classes for children and adults starting in September.

If you are an experienced teacher, send your resume and class or workshop ideas and lesson plans to PSAC, P.O. Box 533, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147, or deliver them in person to the gallery in Town Park. Resumes and lesson plans may also be e-mailed to

Volunteers welcome

The Arts Council offers many opportunities for local citizens to participate in bringing culture to the county. Volunteer some time for such things as snack and ticket booths to Arts Council events. Individuals or businesses can provide volunteer services. PSAC thanks regular volunteers: Wells Fargo Bank (for sharing your copy machine); Marguerite at Mountain Greenery (for supplying complimentary floral arrangements for open house exhibit receptions); and City Market/Krogers for donating a percentage of Value Card purchases from customers who have signed up at the gallery. Call 264-5020 to offer your services or time to the council.

Lost and found

We've found your yellow sweater at the gallery. Stop by 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday to pick it up.

Art-related information

If you have arts-related information you'd like to have published in this column, please mail it to the gallery at, or call 264-5020 at least two weeks before you want it in the paper.

Public arts project

The Arts Council is working with a variety of community members and organizations to develop a public arts program for the Pagosa Springs area.

In April the committee for art in public places presented its proposal to the Town of Pagosa Springs parks and recreation department. The goal of the project is to establish an ongoing program to enhance the visual environment in our community and to expand the opportunities for residents and visitors to experience works of art.

The committee plans to acquire and place its first work within one calendar year. Thereafter, the plan is to continue to place works in a variety of public locations. This project will provide free exposure to a variety of arts and reflect the uniqueness of the Pagosa Springs community, environment and history.

For more information contact Jennifer Harnick at 731-3113.


Chamber News

Weekend offers bevy of local events

By Sally Hameister

Friday night marks the opening of the latest Music Boosters' production, "Meet Me in St. Louis" with curtain going up at 7:30 p.m. at the high school auditorium.

If you read last week's SUN and numerous articles in The PREVIEW, you've had a preview of what we can look forward to seeing this weekend and next. You will have that opportunity Friday and Saturday evenings and a Sunday matinee this week and on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings next week.

Please remember that it is reserved seating, so you would do well to buy your tickets in advance at Moonlight Books downtown or at The Plaid Pony in the Mountain Run Center. Music Boosters continues to raise the bar on talent, professionalism and just downright entertainment factor with each production, so you can count on a wonderful evening whenever you choose to go. Please call 731-5262 with questions, and I'll see you in St. Louis.

LPEA heroes

Once again we would like to express our sincere gratitude to the great guys at La Plata Electric for removing our old flags and replacing them with new ones at the Visitor Center. We have to call upon these gentlemen every time we're faced with a "flag issue" and they never fail to respond promptly and graciously. This time we're grateful to Mike Alley, Brent Tanner, Jake Wills and Nate Bryant for helping us out once again.

Art exhibit

Please stop by the Pagosa Springs Arts Council Gallery in Town Park 5-7 p.m. today for the opening of an exhibit featuring the bronze sculptures and watercolors of artist Robert Garcia. Libations and refreshments will be served during the reception, and the exhibit will continue until Sept. 4.

The Arts Council will also sponsor this month's SunDowner in the Town Park gallery, Aug. 28, 5-7 p.m. They have quite a party planned for that night to include both a silent and live auction, quick-draw portraits by Soledad, quick-draw cabins by Denny Rose and photo portraits by Jeff Laydon. For the first time ever, an original Claire Goldrick painting will be auctioned. Of course, there will be the great food, libations and good company you will always find at a SunDowner. Look for your invitations in the mail in a week or so.

Ride the Weminuche

Saturday marks the second annual United Way of Southwest Colorado Ride the Weminuche at the beautiful, historical Poma Ranch beginning at 9 a.m.

If you have never seen this ranch, it's definitely time to do so. You can enjoy a four-hour guided or unguided horseback ride in the magnificent mountains surrounding the ranch and a real-live chuck-wagon lunch. If you bring your own horse to this party, the charge is $55, and if Matt provides your horse, the charge will be $95.

Lunch is included in both prices and includes brisket, chicken, ribs, beans, the works. Also featured will be a live auction with unique and interesting items. Please give Kathi DeClark a call at (970) 946-2057 to make your reservation and join us for a beautiful day in the San Juans.

Newsletter inserts

Doesn't seem quite possible, but we're already putting together our quarterly newsletter, the Chamber Communiqué, and invite you to bring in your inserts the last week of the month.

In case you've missed out on this inexpensive marketing opportunity in the past, it's time to take advantage of getting the word out to our almost 800 members for very little moolah.

It goes like this: you bring us 730 inserts on bright paper using both sides if you like and a check for $40, and we do the rest. Please use regular-weight paper and do not fold it. We try to have it out sometime the first week in September and invite you to announce your new business, your new location, your new product or whatever you would like to share with the Chamber membership. Give us a call with questions at 264-2360.

Auction for the Animals

The eighth annual Auction for the Animals sponsored by the Humane Society of Pagosa Springs is scheduled to take place at the Ridgeview Mall beginning at 5:30 p.m. Friday. This is always one of Pagosa's biggest and best-attended functions and a barrel of fun. I have bought some of the best gifts ever at this event and look forward to it every year. If you and/or your organization would like to become a sponsor or if you would like to make a donation, please call Annette at 264-5549. Look for more information on celebrity donations and other donations in the future, but mark your calendars for Aug. 23 to appear at the Ridgeview Mall for an evening to benefit our dear four-legged friends.

Sidewalk sale

The Four Corners Folk Festival is coming up the end of this month and in conjunction, our sixth annual Sidewalk Sale. Crista Munro, festival organizer, suggested that this year we might all benefit by extending the Sidewalk Sale to a three-day sale instead of one, and we hope all of our merchants will agree.

This year the fun will begin Aug. 29 and continue through Aug. 31. In the past, our local merchants from the far west of town to the far east of town and all points in between have put all their sale merchandise outside in front of stores on tables, racks, whatever and allowed all passersby to take advantage of some great bargains and sale items.

This year you have three days instead of one to shop 'til you drop and score some fine bargains locally. Start saving your pennies now for the sixth annual Sidewalk Sale.

Shop Pagosa first

Just another little reminder that one of the ways we can help our community and economy recover from a challenging summer (and winter) is to support all our local businesses more than ever before.

Dining and shopping locally is a good way to start on a daily/weekly basis and encouraging friends, family and colleagues to visit is another. While these folks are visiting, introduce them to all the many recreational and educational activities this community has to offer as well as all the special events like the county fair and Colorfest, and the museums, Wildlife Park, hot springs, Chimney Rock, hot air ballooning, horseback riding, etc.

Be especially gracious and hospitable to our visiting guests and remember that you can never say "thank you" enough to those visiting our community. We will all get through these trying times if we stick together and remember that we are all linked in our efforts.


Three new members join us this week along with nine renewals, and we couldn't be happier to introduce them to you.

We're delighted to welcome Shamoon Mohtheshum who brings us the Kentucky Fried Chicken and Taco Bell duo located at 66 Country Center Drive in the Pagosa Country Center. KFC offers the Colonel's own Original, Extra Crispy and Hot and Spicy Chicken along with sandwiches, Crispy Strips, Popcorn Chicken, Pot Pie, side dishes and desserts. Under the very same roof, you will find from Taco Bell the Taco Supreme, many varieties of burritos, chalupas, gorditas, nachos, tostadas, Mexican pizzas, quesadillas and salads. Check it out for yourself when you visit the Pagosa Springs KFC/Taco Bell or call 731-4898.

Our next new member is actually a loyal existing member with another business who succumbed to my gentle nagging. Dawn and Cody Ross join us with Pagosa Auto Parts, Inc. (formerly CarQuest Auto Parts) located at 604 San Juan St. I had been in a couple of times to "encourage" membership and compliment them on how spiffy things looked recently, but hit pay dirt when I took my car to their body shop on Cemetery Road and ran into Dawn. Bless her, the form and check arrived in a very timely manner and here we are. Pagosa Auto Parts is the place to go for domestic and imported auto parts and friendly, knowledgeable service. Give them a call at 264-4127 or stop in to say hello.

Pam Hopkins joins us next with PACK, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group formed to encourage better government and politics in Pagosa Springs. You might have seen their recent ad in the SUN, and it was clear that they simply review all the candidates and issues and select their choices regardless of political party. If you would like to learn more about PACK, please give Pam a call at 264-6300.

Our renewals this week include our old friends Rosemary and Jerry Zepnick at Lantern Dancer Gallery and Gifts; Sally Bish with Cruise Planners; Mike Dalsaso with Dalsaso Associates (insurance, retirement planning, long-term care and employee benefits) located in Durango; Gary Lucas with Rio Grande Savings and Loan Association; Bonnie Masters with Lone Eagle (Real Estate) — Pagosa with offices in her home; Jim Smith with Jim Smith Realty; and Connie Prunty with CenturyTel.

Our Associate Member renewals this week include our long-time friend and Diplomat, Jean Sanft, and our good friends, Doug and Judy Galles. We're grateful to one and all for your continued support.


Library News

FEMA aide provides wildfire checklist

By Lenore Bright

SUN Columnist

Warren Albertson of the Federal Emergency Management Administration brought in some information on many aspects of the wildfire situation. These may be copied but we will have to charge as there are many items and we encourage everyone to get copies.

There is a Web site with the information:

Wildfire mitigation

This sheet suggests that you can lessen the possibility of ignition, reduce fire intensity, and slow the rate of fire spread through planting certain flowers, groundcovers, grasses, shrubs and trees. It gives a list of things to plant.

After the fire

We have a checklist serving as a quick reference and guide for you to follow after a fire strikes. It provides information on what to salvage and how to do it; and many other tips.

Flood insurance

This packet has many helpful answers including how flood insurance is purchased and how the premiums are calculated. Very few people in this area have flood insurance.

Wildfire awareness

This collection of pages is complete with step-by-step instructions on preparing for a fire. It gives Web page addresses, 10 things to do before a wildfire, 10 things to do during a fire, and 10 things to do when returning home after an evacuation.

I would encourage everyone to at least look over this information as we are certainly going to remain vulnerable for some time to come.


We've been receiving copies of the Colorado Statesman, a political weekly newspaper from Denver. It has interesting Web sites for all of the state political organizations, public policy groups, trade associations and other connections. You may copy the Web sites free of charge.

Book sale

The fun event is over for another year. More than 150 good Friends got together for the annual meeting and private booksale.

Mo Covell tells us we made over $4,680 dollars. This may be a record.

Our thanks to all who came and purchased books. My heartfelt thanks to the wonderful 32 volunteers who helped unload and arrange the sale. They worked over a four-day period to make this a success. Special thanks to Jim Willingham for use of a truck; Barry Thomas and firefighters Duwayne Ramey, Marilyn Gurule and Lindy Bauer for hauling the books from storage to the Extension Building. We got help from Frank Martinez and his trustees setting up the tables; Glenn Raby, and Cathne Holt from the library board; Warren Grams, Judy Wood and Mo Covell from the Friends board; the staff at the Extension Building; the Rotarians; library staffers Shirley Iverson, Nancy Cole and Becky Porco. My continued love and appreciation goes to David and Gil Bright for their support, and another very special thanks to all of the Friends who brought the delicious food to share.

The book sale is the Friends of the Library main fund-raiser. The Friends will be starting their campaign to build an addition to the Sisson Library in the near future. Friends board members are Warren Grams, Judy Wood, Charla Ellis, Cynthia Mitchell, Dick Hillyer and Donna Geiger. Anyone interested in helping the Friends with this important campaign should contact us at 264-2209.

Cookbook orders

The much-awaited Civic Club Cook Book is almost here. Dahrl Henley brought in a copy to show us. We will be selling them at the library. They are printing a limited number and Dahrl tells me more than half are sold already. Many volunteers worked on this project. Thank heavens for volunteers! We are indebted to you all.


Thanks for materials from Jim Carson, Don and Mary McKeehan, James Fitch, Judy Giberson, Gerda Witkamp, Jonathan and Maurissa Morningstar, Sharee Grazda, Levi Matlin and Mark Thompson.


Danielle and Tra Camp of Elkhart, Texas, are the proud parents of a 9 pound, 1 ounce bouncing baby boy. Asten Blake arrived at 11:43 p.m. July 15, 2002 in Palestine, Texas.

Danielle is the daughter of Lori Gallegos and Fred Quintana, both of Pagosa Springs. Tra is the son of Debbie Simms of Elkhart, Texas, and Terry Camp of Palestine, Texas.


 Business News

Dean Miller owns and operates Sasha's Farm and Landscape Gardening, offering all phases of landscaping service, including soaker systems and railroad tie work.

Miller is a CSU Master Gardener with several years experience in lawn and garden center work. As the owner of a growing dome greenhouse, he offers growing dome interior construction and design.

Sasha's provides planting of all types of trees, shrubs and flowers as well as yard maintenance and clean up with reliable follow-through.

Contact Sasha's Farm and Landscape Gardening at 731-9391.



Hill children

It has been three weeks since young Pagosa mom, April L. Hill, died in a tragic auto accident near Monticello, Utah. With Hill were her two daughters, Hope Paul, 3, Katelyn Hill, 11 months, who will celebrate her first birthday on Aug. 16, and her brother, Dennis Scoggins, 10. All three are recovering from injuries sustained in the accident.

Hope Paul is recovering from a broken arm and will receive ongoing therapy to help her cope with the tragedy. Katelyn is currently at St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction. She has undergone two surgeries for a compressed skull fracture. She also had fractures to both of her arms and legs. Her splints came off her arms and legs Aug. 12, and she may be discharged from the hospital soon.

Dennis Scoggins, is also currently at St. Mary's Hospital in Grand Junction recovering from facial fractures and a bruised spine. Aug. 6 he underwent facial reconstructive surgery. He is still experiencing paralysis to his lower limbs. By the end of the week, he will be airlifted to Children's Hospital in Denver. There, he will begin the rehabilitation to cope with his paralysis.

Anyone wishing to help these children may take their donations to the Wells Fargo Bank, where accounts have been set up in their names. Although most of their health care needs are being covered, monies donated will be used to cover extra costs and held in trust for college. The account number for Hope Paul and Katelyn Hill is 3861932030. The account for Dennis Scoggins is 1010910105.



Deeds belie Nossaman's stature

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

By John M. Motter

PREVIEW Columnist

Welch Nossaman, one of Pagosa Country's first settlers, was a small man, maybe 5'7". His pioneering accomplishments belie his diminutive stature.

In addition to building what was probably the first cabin in Pagosa Springs, Welch probably drove the first wagon from Summitville to Pagosa Springs by way of Elwood Pass, built the first telephone line connecting Pagosa Springs with the outside world, and was awarded the first homestead in Archuleta County.

Surprisingly, I know of no local landmarks bearing the Nossaman name. A local map often reflects the names of pioneers. On Pagosa Country maps we see such names as Archuleta County, Archuleta Mesa, Archuleta Canyon, Archuleta Mountain, Dutton Creek, Stollstiemer Creek, Martinez Creek, Peterson Gulch, Kearns Mountain and Canyon, Hurt Canyon, Hall Canyon, Catchpole Creek, Spence Creek, Boone Creek, McKinney Flats, Hatcher Lakes, Gordon Creek, Plumtaw Creek, O'Neal Park - the list goes on and on - all names of early settlers. Nowhere on the map will you find a Nossaman.

Yet, almost no one played a bigger role in our settlement than Welch. For that matter, other Nossaman family members are prominent in Pagosa Country history. Most notable of those is probably Dr. Allen J. Nossaman.

A few oldtimers remain who still remember Welch. Welch was 86 when he passed away Dec. 22, 1937, just before Christmas. In his lifetime, Welch had personally known every local individual important to Pagosa Country history. He worked for Perkins, the pioneer stage-stop keeper on the Piedra; Charlie "Racehorse" Johnson over at Pine River; and in various of the San Juan mining camps. Perkins was the settler who sold out to Mason Farrow in 1879 because, the "place is getting too crowded."

In 1897, Welch publicly asked for $300 for telephone subscriptions. His plan was to build a telephone line from Pagosa Springs to Edith. At Edith his line would connect with a line already in place connecting Edith with Lumberton. The Edith-to-Lumberton telephone line had apparently been installed by the New Mexico Lumber Company. The company had constructed a narrow gauge rail line from Lumberton to Edith during 1895 and had opened "the best sawmill ever seen in these parts" at Edith.

The articles announcing the railroad and lumber mill did not specifically mention a telephone line. Because Welch only wanted to build his new telephone line to Edith, it seems a safe guess that the New Mexico Lumber Co. already had a telephone line to that thriving community. It is also a guess that the telephone line carrying messages from Pagosa Country to the world followed the Denver & Rio Grande rail line connecting the San Juan Basin with the outside world.

In any case, Welch's telephone line was constructed within 30 days. Welch's wife, Addie, became the town's first telephone operator. As recently as 1980 or so, I walked down a now abandoned portion of the old Lumberton-to-Amargo stage route. A few telephone poles were still in place. That portion of the route between Eightmile Mesa Road and the Blanco River remained in use until the 1930s when the portion of U.S. 84 between the Blanco River and Squaw Valley was constructed, much of it on the by-then abandoned New Mexico Lumber Co. railroad bed.

Welch spent a few years trying to make a living on his homestead northeast of Pagosa Springs. That 160-acre parcel is now owned by the Bob Formwalt family. For years it was owned by Art and Paul Decker.

Ranching didn't work for Nossaman and he returned to a trade he had known before leaving Iowa, logging. He became a timber cruiser for the New Mexico Lumber Co. A timber cruiser basically moves through uncut forests estimating the amount of lumber available and marking trees for the fallers. This trade occupied his remaining years.

According to oldtimers I have talked with, Nossaman spent his declining years in a home located in the 400 block of Lewis Street. Addie lived until Nov. 21, 1944. Children of the couple were Sally, Sarah and Tom. The Nossaman family is connected by blood or marriage to a considerable number of Pagosa Country pioneers. In addition to the Phillips and Halletts, are the Hylers, Seavys, Todds and probably more - more of a mix than I am able to untangle. A lot of these folks are still around and many of them can write, maybe shoot.

Perhaps Welch's greatest contribution to Pagosa County history is his life story dictated to I.E. Carlin in 1933. Titled "Welch Nossaman's Life Story of Pioneer Life in Iowa and Colorado," the compilation is a treasure and a must read for anyone serious about Pagosa Country history.

We have reviewed what we know of the lives of two Pagosa pioneers, Joseph Clarke and Welch Nossaman. Other pioneers on our list include Fil Byrne, the Dowell Bros., E.T. Walker, E.M. Taylor, the Archuleta and Martinez families, C.D. Scase, Christian Stollsteimer, Thomas Blair, the Chambers family, Dr. N.G. Hover, and the Dutton family.

Next week we take a look at Fil Byrne, Pagosa's first school superintendent and probably its first school teacher.


more than Winning

Seniors stay fit through swimming

By Tess Noel Baker

Staff Writer

"I promise to face my peers in proud competition, to conduct myself in a sportsmanlike manner, to challenge myself to the best of my ability, and to join in the spirit of friendship and the pride of fitness that are part of the Rocky Mountain Senior Games."

Pagosans Jerry and Joann Sager have recited that athlete's oath at numerous Colorado games and five times at nationals before jumping in the pool to compete for the best of the best in their age groups.

Most recently, the couple returned with 12 medals from the 2002 senior games in Greeley. The seven gold medals and five silvers qualified them for nationals in Hampton Road, Va., in May 2003.

They swim constantly to stay in shape. It's an activity they were introduced to as children. Jerry competed in high school in Illinois, "for something to do." Joann learned freestyle at the YMCA in Kansas at age 8. She learned the backstroke from Jerry. They've simply stuck with it.

"It's just a way to start the day," Joann said. "If I'm in a bad mood, Jerry asks, 'Have you swam or walked today?'" They swim four or five times a week most of the year, usually an hour in the mornings, although Jerry sometimes goes hiking or skiing instead. Joann has logged over 500 miles a year in the pool for the past eight years. It might be less in 2002, she said. A shoulder injury has slowed her down a little.

In 1987, a year after the Sagers moved to Pagosa Springs, a friend introduced the couple to the senior games, and, for the most part, they've been hooked ever since.

About six weeks before the state event, they up practices to six times a week. Joann starts focusing workouts around her specific events and Jerry hits the weight room in addition to his laps. At one time, they worked with a coach. They even had a whole team from Pagosa who would travel to the games. Today, they travel as individuals. No fancy workout clothes or team bus trips for the Sagers.

The goal, they said, is to remain competitive within their age groups.

"I just want to do as good as I can," Jerry said.

"I just don't want to be last," Joann said. She never has been.

At the 2002 senior games, Jerry claimed first in the 50-yard freestyle, the 100 free, 200 free, 500 free, 50-yard backstroke, and the 100 and 200 backstroke. It's the most golds he's ever won. "You can only enter seven events," he said.

Joann received silver medals for second place in the 50-yard backstroke, the 100 and 200 backstroke, and the 1500-meter waddle walk, a race on land in which one foot must remain in contact with the ground at all times.

Their favorites are the longer races - the 500 freestyle for Jerry and the 200 backstroke for Joann.

"It kind of gives you time to get over being nervous and stretch out into your own stroke," Jerry said.

The Rocky Mountain Senior Games, run by the Colorado Senior Sports Development Council, are open to athletes 50 years of age and older and include much more than swimming. Other events are: archery, badminton, basketball, bowling, cycling, 8- and 9-ball, field, golf, hammer throw, horseshoes, line dancing, pickle ball, skeet/trap, racquetball, road races, shuffleboard, swimming, table tennis, tennis, track, weightlifting and wogging.

The 2002 games, representing the 25th anniversary of the organization in Colorado, drew in about 500 competitors from across the state, the Sagers said. Thousands will attend the biannual national competition in Virginia next year. Athletes compete by sex and age group over four days. Joann competes in the 70-74 age group. Jerry swims with the 75-79 group.

When asked about the competition, Jerry said it was good, but "it's kind of a survival thing as you get older."

Many times, Joann added, the person finishing last receives as much or more applause than those finishing in the medals because of what the race represents. For instance, she said, some of the women she competes against started swimming as a form of rehabilitation after breaking their hips. Just completing a race is a major accomplishment. And then there is the opportunity to make friends.

Joann said some of the best friends they've made regularly swim against them. "That's when you have time to talk to people, when you're waiting for your heat to be called. In fact, three of our best friends are in direct competition with us."

Right now, the Sagers are making plans to head to the East Coast in 2003 to compete in their sixth nationals, still swimming several times a week, showing the kind of dedication and competitive spirit that makes them champions no matter what medals they bring home.

It's simple really, Jerry said.

"We just want to stay in shape."

Don Blaine, of Pagosa Springs, also competed in Greeley, running in the 100 meters. More information on his result was not immediately available.